UP: Unseasonal Rains Dash Hopes of Groundnut Growers in Bundelkhand
Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Flickr
Lucknow: Groundnut produce worth lakhs of rupees kept in open in the mandi got soaked in various parts of Bundelkhand region, including Mahoba and Banda, destroying at least thousands of quintals of the produce. With more rains predicted over the next few days, the problem could only get worse.
The unseasonal rain wreaked havoc on the groundnut growers who had come to the mandi to sell their harvest and also dashed the hopes of farmers who were expecting a bumper crop this year.
Confirming the loss, farmer leader Prem Singh said, "The sudden rain in Bundelkhand region has caused extreme distress to the farmer community as thousands of sacks of groundnut worth more than Rs 60 lakh kept in the open at the Mahoba mandi were damaged. The farmers are already getting lower prices of groundnut in the market and after the rain, there is a possibility that the crops will rot."
Singh claimed that tin sheds had been made at the Mahoba Galla Mandi to keep the stock of farmers safe during adverse weather, but for the past three-four years, traders have encroached the space by keeping their stock throughout the year. Hence, farmers had to keep their stock in the open.
"The Mahoba district administration is also responsible for our losses as they failed to take timely action against traders who had encroached the shed. If these tin shed were available for the crops, the losses would have been lower" Singh added.
Kishori Lal, Vrindavan Shivhare, Amar Singh, among the farmers who came to sell their goods, said, "Thousands of groundnut bags were stacked in the mandi for weighing, and due to sudden rains, the bags got completely wet. Farmers have suffered huge losses. They had sown crops by taking loans, but the future looks bleak now."
These farmers also alleged that "huge tin shed platforms in the market have been encroached by traders, as a result, their produce often gets soaked in the rain.
“The government does not think about farmers at all due The galla mandi committee has not made any arrangement to protect their goods from the rain either," they said.
Meanwhile, the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) urged the state government to come to the rescue of farmers. It appealed to the government to purchase the damaged crop at a support price and give adequate compensation to farmers.
Farmers in Mahoba, Kannauj and Banda had sown maize and groundnut crops in large numbers. Seeing the crops, the farmers had expected good profits, but continuous rains have dashed their hopes.
"We are forced to sell at a lower price of around Rs 200 to 600 per quintal due to government’s faulty policy,” the groundnut farmers said, lamenting that “when it was supposed to rain, it did not and now when we have brought our produce to the market to sell, it lies soaked in the rain."
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